Endangered Species

More of the Southern Pacific is about to disappear.  Almost 15 years after the merger with Union Pacific I suppose that should be expected.  Right now Union Pacific is in the midst of a project to upgrade the signal system on the Brooklyn sub which will doom the classic searchlight signals so prevalent there now.  I’m sure if you ask UP management they will say this project is long overdue as many of their competitors replaced their searchlights long ago.  But as is typical with many of the former SP lines there were other upgrades required to get the railroad reliable before signal improvements.

As with many railfans I’m into nostalgia so of course I’ll be sad to see these sentinels leave.  These signals have a classic look with the ladder angled away from the signal at the base.  They just scream SP.  Appearance wise these signals will be sorely missed.  Of course I do realize the advantage of the tri-color replacements and how they, in the long run, will save the UP operational dollars and keep the railroad safe.  As a business person those facts can’t be ignored.  Efficiency and safety though have created an endangered species.

5 thoughts on “Endangered Species”

  1. The big reason for the signal upgrades is the requirement to implement PTC by 2014 or 2015. UP is also upgrading the cables, radios, antennas and grade crossing equipment. Also, the block signal system in Albany will be changed over to CTC.

  2. BTW, what day did you take this image? Would liked to have known you were visiting the Brooklyn, particularly near Albany, my home base. Cheers!

  3. I took it Tuesday afternoon Charles. I was in Salem for business in the morning and took the afternoon to get a few photos. I did get a photo of the ABS signal south of the Albany depot too.

  4. I'll miss the old signals, they were perfectly focused and bright as hell. The new shit we're getting in now won't be aimed right, is going in all different places except where the existing ones were so that alone opens up the familiarization can of worms, good job UP. And to think it all started with a kid who wanted media attention.

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